Normally when I go radio silent in the ice cream blogosphere, I typically have pretty lame excuses…things like IBS (Irritable Blogger Syndrome), inability to achieve a healthy work-life balance, general blogger laziness, a hectic social calendar, or more often than not, an obsessive Type A personality that makes it impossible to actually enjoy my artistic hobbies due to paralyzing self-doubt and agonizing attention to detail.
Well blog friends, for once my absence has been well-warranted as I am here to share not one but TWO major life updates with you all:
1) We bought a house!
For those of you who have been following the blog for some time, you know we’ve been looking for a house for FOREVER because I had a very specific “vision” in mind (read: unrealistic expectations) and I’m excited to announce that we’ve finally found the ONE.
After five years of searching.
And she’s a beaut!
But she’s also a ton of work (you tried to warn us, but we didn’t listen).
2) WE’RE HAVING A BABY!
This news obviously significantly trumps the first (hence the all-caps, which is the most immediate mechanism through which I can appropriately portray my sheer delight and excitement). Baby Spoon will be joining us in November of this year and we really couldn’t be any happier/more terrified/anxious/etc. (<enter various roller coaster of emotions here>).
The first thing people do when they find out that you’re pregnant (other than make weird unwanted comments about your body) is ask about your current cravings. For the first few weeks of the pregnancy I intensely desired waffles, but that’s not necessarily something that un-pregnant me wouldn’t want all the time anyhow. Still, I followed my heart (and my stomach), and it resulted in this amazing recipe from a while back – who knew those breakfast cravings were actually Baby Boy at just a few weeks old, wreaking havoc on my hormonal balance!
(Actually I did know, just kidding. And people say I’m terrible at keeping secrets).
My waffle phase was fun yet short-lived, because at Week 6 the nausea hit, and I wasn’t really craving much of anything other than plain toast with a little butter when I was feeling wild. As a bonafide foodie (aka someone who loves to eat all the things all the time), you can imagine how disappointing this all must have been. I’ve been waiting my whole life to be pregnant simply for the extra caloric intake, and now all of a sudden I was sipping ginger tea and sparkling water like my life depended on it.
I started to come out on the other side around Week 18, although it took me a few additional weeks to get back to my normal self. Then one day in Week 21, it was like someone flipped a switch in my brain and all I wanted was Mexican food…and peanut butter pie.
As a good midwestern American, peanut butter of any kind has always been prevalent in my diet. I have such a fondness for peanut butter desserts in particular, and peanut butter pie is one of my favorites because it really allows the peanut butter to be the star of the show. So often, peanut butter gets downgraded to an afterthought – it’s always peanut butter AND something else – but not with this dessert.
I didn’t have much patience to make an entire pie (although to be clear I could have eaten a whole one by myself), so I made these pops instead.
This is a very simple recipe that comes together with just a few basic recipes that you may already have in your fridge or pantry. Truthfully, the hardest part was pulling them out of the popsicle molds since the fat content makes them a bit soft. I attempted these first and foremost in an old-fashioned popsicle mold, but lacked the patience for a successful follow-through. I got distracted by a renegade spider in my kitchen and held them under hot water for too long, resulting in a somewhat melty result. They tasted great and all, but weren’t exactly what I wanted (who wants a popsicle that’s already soft on its sides?).
Then, I had enough sense to pull out my trusty Zoku Quick Pop Maker, which produced 9 pops in around 20 minutes or so and I didn’t have to worry about the mess or disappointment of the old fashioned popsicle mold. The Zoku is truthfully one of the best, most enjoyable purchases we’ve ever made, and I’m excited to think about how we’ll be able to use it throughout Baby Spoon’s childhood to make him homemade treats (because taking care of a baby is easy and not time consuming at all so I’ll probably be bored and want to make all of his food from scratch, right?)
No Zoku? No problem! Just make sure you have patience as you pull the frozen pops out of their molds (unlike me!), and follow best practices – submerge your molds in warm (not hot) water for 20 to 30 seconds to loosen the sides and gingerly pull them from the grasps of the mold. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet or plate in the freezer while you proceed to remove the remaining pops.
As a finishing touch, I drizzled these pops with chocolate and crushed cookies to amp up the pie sentiment. Keep in mind that you can also mix cookies into the actual pop mixture and freeze it all together, but because I wanted a lovelier presentation (you know, Instagram and all that) I chose to use them as a finisher on top of a chocolate drizzle – because NOTHING is more beautiful than a chocolate drizzle.
I also like to mix my cookies with a little butter beforehand so it tastes more like crust, but if you do mix them into your base I’d suggest leaving the butter out – it’s an extra step that likely won’t have a huge flavor payoff in the end (you’ll barely be able to notice the butter against all that creamy peanut-y goodness).
These pops are sweet and savory, and perfect for anyone who loves peanut butter (let alone its delectable pie counter part).
I hope you love this simple pop recipe that’s a summer-approved version of an all time favorite dessert. Truthfully, I’ll probably eat them in the fall and winter too (but who’s keeping track?).
Peanut Butter Pie Ice Cream Pops
1 cup smooth creamy peanut butter (preferably not natural or no-stir)
1 package cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 cups milk (a fuller fat milk like 2% or even whole milk is best)
Pinch of salt
12 chocolate sandwich cookies
1 tablespoon butter
Hot fudge or chocolate syrup for decorating (check out my homemade hot fudge here)
A few tablespoons of whipped topping or whipped cream (optional)
Make the Pie Pops
- Using an electric mixer, whisk together peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add in powdered sugar, and whisk for about 30 more seconds, or until combined.
- Using a low setting, stir in the milk, 1 cup at a time. Stir until smooth and everything is combined. (Please note: in lieu of an electric mixer, you can definitely use your own strength and a wooden spoon to mix this together, you’ll just get a little bit of a work out :)).
- Spoon pie pop mixture into your Zoku Quick Pop Maker or a traditional ice pop mold. If using the Zoku, make all your pops at once and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or plates in the freezer until your decorations are prepared. If using traditional method, allow a full 5 or 6 hours to freeze, then remove mold from freezer and submerge sides of the mold into warm water for 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly and gently remove pops from mold, and place them on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper until ready to decorate.
Make your Decorations
- Crush up cookies, using a rolling pin or bottom of a heavy drinking glass (or you can go high tech and use the pulse setting on a blender or food processor).
- Stir in melted butter, and sprinkle with a light sprinkling of salt if desired.
- Make hot fudge or heat up store-bought fudge until thin enough to spoon onto the pops but not hot enough to melt them.
- Drizzle frozen pops with as much or as little chocolate sauce as you like.
- Sprinkle crushed cookies on top and lightly press down with a spoon to ensure cookie crumbs stick to the chocolate.
- Set baking sheet or plate into the freezer until chocolate sauce is set, about half an hour.
- You may also dip into whipped topping, if desired.
- Can be stored up to a week in the freezer.